Stress Relief

September 28, 2011: Stress Relief

These are stressful times for most Americans, and we entrepreneurs are sure carrying our fair share. But we can’t take weeks off to decompress and recompose. Some of us can’t even afford (the time or the money) to take a few days off.

But it’s not healthy to carry, as a friend of mine says, “a big ball of stress” everywhere you go. So what can you do? Apparently a lot of entrepreneurs are turning to prayer and meditation. Or so reports the Baylor Religion Survey, underwritten by Baylor’s sociology department, the National Study of Religion and Entrepreneurial Behavior and the National Science Foundation.

Kevin Dougherty, the study’s co-author, told USA Today entrepreneurs pray more often than non-entrepreneurs (34 percent, compared to 27 percent), and meditate more often as well (32 percent, compared to 22 percent of non-entrepreneurs). Dougherty theorizes that perhaps “the stress and struggle of new business ventures drive people to their knees.”

USA Today also talked to psychologist Kenneth Pargament from the Institute for Spirituality and Health in Houston, who suggests, “Prayer and meditation can be important resources for people who are trying to achieve a lot and yet still face the reality that there is only so much they can control.”

Whether you choose to pray, meditate, talk to yourself out loud (a favorite of mine), or try another method of stress relief, you need to do something to relieve your burden. And of course, I’d be remiss to not point out the numerous entrepreneurial opportunities related to stress relief.

We talked about the rise of yoga and Pilates studios a few weeks ago. But the enormous resurgence in popularity of comfort foods like cupcakes, grilled cheese and hamburgers is no coincidence—the nation is obviously eating to soothe our collective stress.

Are there products, services or “extras” you can provide to help your customers reduce stress?